“Real Interrogation: What Actually Happens When Cops Question

“Real Interrogation: What Actually Happens When Cops Question Kids”
Barry C. Feld, Centennial Professor of Law, University of Minnesota
Marsico Social Science Visiting Scholar, University of Denver
Lecture Abstract
Although the Supreme Court repeatedly cautioned that youthfulness adversely affects
juveniles’ ability to exercise Miranda rights or make voluntary statements, it endorsed the adult
waiver standard – knowing, intelligent, and voluntary – to gauge juveniles’ Miranda waivers. By
contrast, developmental psychologists question whether young people understand or possess
the competence necessary to exercise Miranda rights. Supported by the Marsico Social Science
Visiting Scholar program and the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver, Professor
Feld’s public lecture analyzes quantitative and qualitative data of interrogations of three
hundred and seven (307) sixteen- and seventeen-year old youths charged with felony offenses.
It reports how police secure Miranda waivers, the tactics they use to elicit information, the
length of interrogations, and the evidence youths provide. The findings bear on three policy
issues – procedural safeguards for youths, time limits for interrogations, and mandatory
recording of interrogations.
This event was co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology & Criminology,
the Marsico Social Science Visiting Scholar Program, and
Denver Law’s Constitutional Rights & Remedies Program.